David Weiss


“The band functions at the higher levels of postbop slipperiness, staying away from too-obvious material.”
“The band — in particular, the rhythm section — addresses this music with an air of feverish discovery, and only the most permissive sort of reverence. “Gravity Point,” by Mr. Moore, spins out from a tightly dissonant horn line into swirling improvisation; “Paraphernalia,” by Wayne Shorter, stretches even further. Mr. Felder leads the best of these digressions, and like his teammates he sounds thrillingly unrestricted. Whatever Mr. Weiss meant with the name of this band, he named it well.”
-Nate Chinen New York Times

“This is a gorgeously arranged set of composerly hardbop, executed with exemplary passion and drive.”
-Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York

“The sextet skirts the outer reaches of straight-ahead jazz, innovating while drawing from tradition. The recording benefits from the familiarity and chemistry shared by the bandmates, creating a powerful, propulsive force. Weiss’ complex compositions, some featuring dark themes and dense harmonies, are balanced with compelling melodies.”
-Sharonne Cohen, Jazz Times

“Harmonies shift in unsettled patterns; the pieces, beautiful as they are, work through their troubles in long, ruminative phrases; and the soloists likewise pitch their virtuosity in search of an elusive place they can call home.”
“The tunes are lovely.”
-Jon Garelick, DownBeat

“Weiss writes tunes with evocative melodic ambivalence and veering surprises and hovering pedal points and metrical asymmetry, all qualities associated with the sensibility that Wayne Shorter brought to jazz. But Weiss does not repeat it, he expands upon it.”
-Thomas Conrad, Downbeat Magazine

“Weiss’ craftsmanship and individuality lift his music out of retrograde movement. Weiss’ writing suggests that a major composer/arranger may be developing.”
-Doug Ramsey, Jazz Times Magazine

“Every track has something special, with Weiss’ title track and “Wayward” arguably standing out, with mesmerizing solos throughout the album by every member of this genuinely all-star group.”
“David Weiss’ creative contributions to contemporary jazz continue. A brilliant record.”
-Tony Hall, Jazz Wise Magazine

“It’s kind of crazy thinking about the recent projects that trumpeter Weiss has been running lately. He’s the guy behind the excellent The Cookers reboot, his Endangered Species embrace of the music of Wayne Shorter was pretty amazing, and then there’s his Point of Departure which is a past eMusic Pick of the Week. He’s back now with another solid effort . . . Just stellar. Pick of the Week.”
-Dave Sumner, eMusic, Wondering Sound

“Trumpeter-composer David Weiss calls his quintet Point of Departure, an intriguing but risky move from the get-go. That’s the title, after all, of Andrew Hill’s 1964 Blue Note masterpiece, one of the most appealingly adventurous sessions in post-bop jazz. In short, Weiss has set the bar high. The startling thing is, he clears it.”
“The band’s new CD, Snuck Out, is a terrific album, one of my very favorites so far this year. Its melodic lines swirl in catchy cascades without quite settling into melodies. Its free-style rhythms are tethered to a structure of harmony while floating clear of strict chords. The music’s tight, loose, catchy, elusive, knotty and limber, all at once. The musicians are first-rate.”
-Fred Kaplan, Stereophile

“This album works, and soars, because Weiss is a masterful arranger and bandleader. The section work is tight. The chord voicings are gems of jazz perfection.”
-Frank Alkyer, Downbeat

“Stunningly beautiful arrangements.”
-J Hunter, Nippertown

“Endangered Species is one of the best records, jazz or otherwise, of 2013”.
“Endangered Species is the tribute Shorter deserves, capturing much of the essential spirit of this sophisticated, allusive American original. The top-notch, full-scale band here is also known as Endangered Species, assembled by trumpeter David Weiss, a vibrant arranger who is nearly as humble as he is creative, a blend that enables him to take some liberties without disrespecting the integrity of Shorter’s songs.”
-Britt Robson, EMusic

“I much prefer Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter (Motéma), a retrospective of Shorter tunes arranged by trumpeter David Weiss and played by his big band live at a New York club. It didn’t make my Top 10, either, though it came awfully close”.
-Francis Davis, NPR

“(A) beautifully crafted album.”
-Mike Hobart, Financial Times

“Hans Christian Andersen wrote ‘Where Words Fail, Music Speaks’. As Weiss approaches his 50th birthday, his words certainly do not fail him. He talks of pain and desolation, but explains also that the music is ‘about rebirth, hope and finding your way back’. The beautiful sounds on this album eloquently convey that healing power.”
-London Jazz News

“An album suffused with a sense of loss . . . The music itself, by complete contrast, is distinctly life affirming however tinged by melancholic mood, in the best traditions of the music . . . A tender album When Words Fail works on a variety of levels as hard bop continues to be reinterpreted, the style putty in Weiss’ accomplished hands.”
-Stephen Graham, Marlbank

“The title tune is, in fact, dedicated to yet another special person he lost. Bassist Dwayne Burno died of pneumonia just a few weeks after playing on the album. Weiss plays a beautiful solo on the track. There are other wonderful solos by Weiss, Myron Walden on alto sax, and Marcus Strickland on tenor, but the overall tone of the album comes through most strikingly when the three are playing gorgeous harmonic phases together. The other superb players – Burno on bass; Xavier Davis, piano; E.J. Strickland, drums; and Ben Eunson, guitar – play no small part in making ‘When Words Fail’ one of the strongest albums of the year.”
-Ron Netsky, Rochester City Newspaper

“‘When Words Fail’ is when music can stand in as a salve for those of us who stand by and feel hopeless. This music is filled with hope, with sorrow, even with joy. David Weiss has created music to remind us that pain, like joy, is fleeting, that we must cling to good memories and that imagination can be a powerful emancipator. The musicianship throughout is impressive and impactful.”
-Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

“While the pain of loss is felt in the music, so is a sense of hope, superbly rendered by the original members of Weiss’s sextet who hadn’t recorded together in about a decade.”
-Chris Smith, The Winnipeg Free Press

“Over the years, Weiss has earned much critical praise and respect for his ambitious and wide-ranging work with The New Jazz Composers Octet, his support and championing of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard during that icon’s last years, explorations with his Point Of Departure band, burn-and­drive work with The Cookers, and reworkings of saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter’s music. In those situations, Weiss wore many hats, serving as composer, arranger, leader, supporter, and situation­maker. Here, he does the same, but he also serves as the emotional power source for this music. When Words Fail may be the most direct and personal record Weiss has ever released.”
-Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

“The compositions are fresh and interesting and the performances are terrific”.
“A terrific recording that is full of heart as well as exquisite playing.”
-Ron Weinstock, In a Blue Mood”

“Weiss emerges as one of the finest artists to mine the post bop arena. Not since Dave Douglas has a trumpet player come along with such a perfect combination of technical prowess, unerring instinct for captivating melody, harmony and counterpoint, and sheer emotional force.”
-John Kelman, All About Jazz 

“His writing is totally contemporary in its expansion of [the mid-‘60s] unfinished business. Watch for Weiss. He’s a major new talent.”
-Tony Hall, JazzWise Magazine

“Solid is key term here. Not in any‘pedestrian’sense but in a more architectural one. Strong foundations, historically and structurally, and plenty of freedom and imagination in the design that goes on top, that is how Weiss operates. And, believe me, the operation is wholly successful.”
-Maurice Bottomley, Pop Matters

“A red-hot live recording.”
“This is a ferociously energetic album that will make you jump up and down as you listen to it.”
-Phil Freeman, Burning Ambulance

“One that is replete with harmonic complexities and gripping performances by modern day jazz ambassadors. Snuck In is a powerful testament to the past and, even more so, the present.”
-Mark Turner, All About Jazz

“The band echoes the wonderful inside/outside albums that Blue Note released in the mid 1960’s by the likes of Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson and Sam Rivers, and takes the music into the modern age with class and dignity. The music is very powerful, with both the ensemble playing and the solos reach for high levels of creativity. This was a very exciting and continually enjoyable album of modern jazz. The group takes their inspiration from the innovators of the past, but it is clear that their sound is their own and their musical mission is finely crafted and honed to a beautiful edge.”
-Tim Niland, Music and More

“Weiss has demonstrated before that he can find previously unexplored possibilities out of superb overlooked songs and refurbish them with a crack crew to where they’re usually better than the originals. That’s what he did for the entire album of Snuck In. This is only Weiss’ third album under his name, but it is the charm.”
-Pico Something Else

“This is spirited music, emotionally engaged on a deep level. Glorious.”
-Marcus O’Dair, The Arts Desk

“Pulse-quickening live set. They feel as sharp and potent as the quickening breeze from an approaching storm.”
Forrest Dylan Bryant, Jazz Times

“It is thrilling to hear these strong echoes of the second great Miles Davis Quintet, particularly refracted through compositions not associated with the band.  Hearing Weiss and Allen probe this style again, it seems clear that nearly-but-not-entirely-free playing, framed by intricate ensemble arrangements, didn’t get a full airing in its own day.  Point of Departure is just original enough, with Felder bringing a fresh groove to it all, to make this an essential contemporary recording rather than some kind of throwback gimmick.”

“David Weiss is still serving the past with Snuck In, but he seems equally passionate about the future. This is a group—and a superb trumpet player—from whom we must hear more.”
-Will Layman, Pop Matters

“David Weiss and this incredible band do more than celebrate the man and his contributions – they make the listener see and hear this music in new, and often exciting, ways. Highly recommended.”
-Richard B. Kamins, Step Tempest

“This is an homage that is experimental, not fawning; that showcases a great band and treats Shorter’s music as it should be — ever evolving.”
-Chris Smith, Winnipeg Free Press